We’re now just hours away from the announcement of one of the biggest Android handsets in history – the long awaited Samsung Galaxy S III, or as Samsung like to call it, the Next Galaxy.
The successor to last year’s phone of the year, the Galaxy S III must face massive expectations, given its predecessor’s success, the challenge HTC have provided with the HTC One X and the hype that Samsung themselves have been trying to create around the device. Will the Galaxy S III measure up? If what we think we know about the Galaxy S III is true, then it could.
Let’s get right into what we’re expecting from this massive Samsung product launch.
Simply enough, the first thing we are pretty sure we know about the Samsung Galaxy S III is its name. Although it’s mostly been refered to as the Next Galaxy by Samsung themselves, in a nod to Apple’s terming of the iPad 3 as “the new iPad”, there have been a few Samsung sources that have indicated the Galaxy S III title is here to stay.
The first is Samsung vice president Yi, who in Samsung’s Q1 earnings call said that he expected great things from the Galaxy S III. We can only imagine his heart skipped a beat when he said that. A few days later, we seemingly got confirmation from the Samsung Unpacked app, which promotes the Galaxy S III launch event. The app contained the tag ‘Galaxy S3’. Whether that’s just for search results in the Google Play marketplace or not is unclear, but it is a good sign that we will see that classic Galaxy S title return. For the rest of the review, we’ll assume it does.
Chipset: CPU, GPU & RAM
This is an area where we’re again pretty confident about what we’re going to see thanks to the efforts of Samsung themselves. They announced a few days ago that the next Galaxy would be armed with their Exynos Quad processor, which runs four cores at 1.4 GHz. This will be backed with an upgraded version of the Mali 400 GPU that was found in the Galaxy S II. There’ll be 1 GB of RAM and 16 or 32 GB of internal storage, which probably won’t be upgradeable through micro SD.
From the Galaxy S III screen protectors posted earlier this week, we have a feeling that we’ll see a 4.8″ screen. The resolution is almost sure to be 1280 x 720, granting a pixel density north of 300 PPI – what Apple calls Retina Display territory. The display will likely be slightly curved like that of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. We’re not sure what display technology will be used, but we’re hoping for a non-Pentile Super AMOLED Plus screen – the brightest and crispest possible.
Chassis: Shape, Size & Colour
From what we’ve heard so far, the Galaxy S III will be a slightly larger version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, with that slightly larger screen and capacitive instead of software buttons demanding more space. It’s likely to be a bit thinner than the Galaxy Nexus, and we expect it to use a non-removable battery of around 1800 mAh (and potentially no micro SD slot and a micro SIM card) to achieve that. The Galaxy S III will be available in blue and white, according to entries in Carphone Warehouse’s inventory system, which line up with the blue and white blobs on the official invite to Samsung’s announcement.
The Galaxy S III will come with either an 8 or 12 megapixel rear camera, according to various leaks over the past few weeks. The 12 megapixel option seems more likely, coupled with video capture qualities of 1080p at 30 fps. We believe there will also a 2 megapixel front-facing camera.
OS & Software
The Galaxy S III will run Ice Cream Sandwich with a heavy topping of Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface. We’ll likely see integration with Samsung’s new S Cloud service, which offers cloud storage similar to Dropbox and is expected to launch alongside the phone.
The Galaxy S III looks set to be a mighty phone indeed, combining the best points of the Sony Xperia S and HTC One X with Samsung’s own popular style. But with such strong competition, will that be enough to make it stand out from the pack?
There have been a few special features mentioned – wireless charging and waterproofing come to mind – that could make more of a splash than raw specs alone. Another potential differentiator is the chassis itself – there have been a few rumours that we’ll see something entirely different to the plastic we’re used to, and we haven’t seen the handset without a Galaxy S III case on yet to confirm that.
Either way, it should be exciting to see the Galaxy S III announced. Tune in at 7 PM BST on Thursday to see it, and let us know how well – or how badly – we did on the predictions!
Over the past few months we’ve seen close to twenty leaks of devices and parts that claim to be the real Galaxy S3. We’ve added them all for you below, which do you think is the real deal, if any?